How to Fight Burnout in Bible Study

5 Mins read

When you think about the prospect of being burnt out with trying to read the Bible, you may think that even considering such a thought is wrong. Obviously, we should have a constant hunger for God’s Word, but we’re also humans. As humans, there are some topics that interest more than others. Also, if you’ve been a believer for many years, you may look at your Bible and assume that you’ve already read it all. Today, overcome burnout by considering these two truths about the Bible.

Have you ever taken the time to consider the statistical makeup of the Bible? Probably not. A book that has stood the test of time over thousands of years was written during a time period that spanned more than 1,500 years. There are at least 40 different authors involved in its composition. The original manuscripts were written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, making it one of the few ancient texts that as a single body of work was originally composed in more than one language.

Most of all, the Bible is not simply a “religious text.” Instead, the collection of different writings from more than three dozen authors covers a variety of genres. People who study the Bible as a piece of literature often approach it with amazement that a single volume of text can contain some many different genres within its covers.

The Bible contains stories of history, war, romance, miracles, and so much more. With that in mind, how can we possibly ever get bored with the idea of reading and studying our Bibles?

The answer to that question can be traced back to our human nature. As humans, we have a tendency to become bored with something that we’re overly familiar with. For instance, think about a movie that you have seen multiple times? Perhaps you have seen your favorite movie so many times that you can finish some of the lines before the actors and actresses on screen say them. Even if you still appreciate the movie, you’re not nearly as interested in it as you were the first time you saw it.

The same can be said of your favorite novel if you’re a reader. While you may be able to read the same novel multiple times, there comes a point where you’re essentially just scanning over the words because you already know how everything is going to unfold.

When we treat the Bible as another piece of literature or a form of entertainment, it’s easy for us to become bored with Bible study. After all, once you’ve read the story of Christ’s birth, as many of us will be doing during this holiday season, it’s easy to let the power of the story give way to familiarity.

If you feel like you’re struggling to remain committed to Bible study, consider some of the traits of Scripture. When you allow these qualities that are only found in the Bible to become fresh, it’s much easier to avoid experiencing burnout in your Bible study.

The Bible Has Been Proven to Be Authentic
2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

One of the most powerful sources of Bible burnout is found in the culture that we live in telling us that we can’t really trust Scripture because it has been interpreted and repackaged so many times over the years. When Satan can cause us to doubt the validity of Scripture, it becomes much easier to become bored with what we’re reading. After all, can we really trust it to be true? Actually, secular scholars (including those who didn’t mean to) have actually verified the authenticity of Scripture multiple times. Consider some of the following statistics and pieces of data:

• The Old Testament that we have today has been verified by ancient texts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Talmud.
• There are more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, 8,000 Latin manuscripts of the New Testament, and another 1,000 manuscripts that were originally written in other languages.
• When compared to other ancient authors, the number of, those numbers are even more amazing. There are 2,000 manuscripts confirming Homer’s writings, only seven manuscripts regarding Plato’s writings, 10 manuscripts that confirm Julius Caesar, and 20 confirming Tacitus.

There are no ancient texts that have been proven as many times as the Bible that we have copies of today. When you spend some time truly thinking about the authenticity of Scripture as it has been proven time and time again, it’s impossible to think of it as just another historic text. Instead, it is a sacred, preserved text that contains historic information.

Scripture is truly unrivaled in its authenticity with more than 13,000 manuscripts that align with the written Word of God that we have today.

The Bible is Outrageous
Psalm 19:7-8 (NIV)
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

In order to truly embrace the audacious, outrageous nature of Scripture, we must first understand its authenticity. That’s why we took the time to consider some of the statistical data that points to the authenticity of Scripture before we got to this part.

Some of the stories contained in Scripture are hard for us to fathom. Consider the story of Jonah, who the Bible says spent three days and three nights in the belly of a large fish before being regurgitated onto shore. It’s easy for us to read a story like that and assume that it’s not even possible.

The New Testament is filled with countless stories of people being miraculously healed and raised from the dead. The New Testament contains stories of Christ walking on water and calming storms with nothing more than a word. Even more miraculously, there are four accounts in the New Testament of Christ dying and raising again on the third day.

In Matthew 18:3, Jesus told His followers that they needed to have faith like a little child if they wanted to truly see the Kingdom of Heaven. We would do well to do the same in our own lives.

If you have children of your own or have children who are an important part of your life, you’ve seen childlike faith in action, even if you didn’t realize it. When you tell a small child that Santa is watching them in the days leading up to Christmas, they believe it’s true. It’s not because they know everything about Santa, but instead, because they trust you.

In the same vein, we should approach Scripture with the same type of awe that children have during the Christmas season.

How much would your approach to Scripture change if you put your blind faith in what was said? If we’re being honest, it would be impossible to get burnt out with reading the Bible if we fully believed every word that was in it. If you knew in your heart of hearts that a teenage shepherd boy killed a giant with a rock, that’s the kind of story that could never get old!

When trying to overcome boredom with the Bible, it’s important that we combine its believability and its unbelievability. Historical study teaches us that Scripture can be trusted. When you combine that with the unbelievable, supernatural nature of many of the stories contained in Scripture, it’s impossible to not remain awestruck at the power of those tales.

A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, help me to remain hungry and thirsty for Your Word. I know that every Word contained in Scripture is true. That includes the supernatural stories that defy human logic. Help me to have the faith of a child so that I can blindly trust You and every Word that You preserved for me to read. I know that Scripture has the power to change me into what You want me to be. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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